Sunday, October 16, 2011

Keeping Our Balance

I used up my old computer, and the new one arrived this week. Actually, I’m told that what  I used up was the memory on the old computer, making it slower, and slower, and s-l-o-w-e-r until I just wanted to scream every time I used it. We’re talking several minutes for something like a folder in Outlook to open. And, well, the relationship between my old computer and me has always been rocky. I wanted to love it, and I just never could.

So I’m thrilled to have the new one here. Less than thrilled at all the setup necessary though! We were able to transfer all my files – but not all the programs I use. So every time I start to do something, I find I have to download something and wait for it to install. I doctor all my pictures for this blog using Picasa – which wasn’t here. I write posts on Windows Live Writer – which no longer had a path or something and had to be downloaded again. We won’t talk about my movie editing program, or all the camera software, or Quicken, or…oh wait. We’re not talking about those!

It’s kind of like when you head out to go garaging. Before you can get in the car and crank the top down (assuming the weather is cooperating) there’s always a bunch of stuff that needs doing. I actually have a list in the front of my little notebook, reminding me of everything I need to gather. I’m sure this list has saved me countless hours over the years of trying to remember everything, not to mention the frustration of dealing with forgotten items.

Of course some items are so basic I don’t even have them on my list – feeding the pets before I go out, dripping fluids into Mrs. Wilberforce, our kitty with chronic kidney failure. It’s not our fave moment of the day, but she needs her “kitty juice” so we just do it. Which led to the note I wrote for my husband yesterday, who was still asleep when I left:


Okay, YOU try to think of a good rhyme for juice! Have to admit I was probably influenced by the picture my friend Cathy G.  send recently of her and an elk. Okay, so it wasn’t a moose. They’re both big, brown, and you don’t want to be run over by one. (No, Cathy was not run over by the elk. Though it would have made a better vacation story if she had been!) Steven said when he read the note his first image was of a large brown animal, but this was quickly superseded by a short internal video in which I was set upon by rogue hairdressers who slathered me with foamy white mousse.

At some point during the past week, a whole bunch of trees in town decided it was Fall.



After ten years in Southern California, I’m really enjoying the show. (I suspect I may enjoy the inevitable raking a bit less in a few weeks.)

I had the thrill on Friday of finding one of the items on my “hunt for” list. Not a huge thing, but something I use often – and the only thing that got broken in our recent move.


You really can’t complain when, out of all the stuff we crammed into two rental trucks, only one box got dropped and one item broke. But I’m so happy to find a replacement for a buck instead of having to go to a store. And I scored a few movies at the same sale.


My favorite encounter on Saturday was talking to a nice young woman who’s getting ready to move to Portland. (May her breakage report be as good as ours!) She said she got a job there a while back and blithely told herself the commute wouldn’t be bad, it’s only 45 minutes, no problem. Unfortunately her commute does not take place in the middle of the night, which is about the only time she’d actually be able to do it in 45 minutes. She also thought she’d have a couple of month to prep for her move, then learned her apartment was available NOW. Having just moved I can totally sympathize. Turns out she’s a jewelry designer as well; she showed me a picture of a very cool silver cuff bracelet she’d made. Somehow we got to talking about my creative endeavors (more on that below!) and she told me about a job she used to have as a technical writer. Apparently one of her co-workers left out some information in a manual, which resulted in a $9 million lawsuit! Have to admit I’d never thought of the awesome responsibility involved in tech writing.

As on Friday, I ended up buying things at only one sale, which seemed to be the remnants of an estate. As soon as you walked into the garage, you knew this home had belonged to a bird lover. China birds, cloth birds, more china birds, bird books. One piece was so unusual (and priced so right!) that I had to have it.


Ummm, it’s just a couple of odd birds on sticks, you’re saying. It’s not until you touch one that you realize they are balancing on the tips of their beaks!


I just thought that was cool, and you know I love bamboo. So I grabbed it, and kept looking around, and finally noticed a couple of small cloth bundles with a Dansk tag on them.

IMG_2982   IMG_2983

My MCM antenna started to vibrate. Each is a roll of 4 vintage Danish placemats or napkins – they’re placemat size and shape, but woven of lightweight linen. The price was right (I spent a total of $7.50 this weekend, so you know it was!) so the Dansk cloth came home with me. Of course the first thing I did was see what I could find out about them on eBay and other sites. One set of 8 placemats sold for over $70! And all the ones I found on other auction sites and Etsy have been sold. So these babies are currently on the re-sell shelf– unless I find I need them for myself!

The downside to looking up something like Dansk on eBay is seeing all the other stuff I’d like to have. Not to mention the set of teak handled stainless flatware that looks awfully like the set we used to have (bought at a yard sale in the early 80s). We used them for years until too many pieces lost the wood off their handles and we moved on to something else. Now I see they were probably the ones designed by Jens Quistgaard. Sigh. But, I also see that my little candelabra I picked up a few weeks ago is another Quistgaard design from Dansk.


Now I feel better!

Okay, this is now “below” and here’s some news about my creative endeavors: the second book in my Willow Falls series will really and truly be out soon! In Dogs We Trust is getting formatted as an e-book, and I expect the galley proof of the trade paperback from the printer early this week. I’ll let you know when it’s all a “go” – and in the meantime, if you haven’t yet read Sleeping Dogs Lie, it’s very much available!

SDL FRONT COVER       dogsWeTrust front



  1. Not many places in SoCal where you can see lots of trees turning lots of colors! Good on you to be in OR! Looking forward to reading your new book!

  2. MOOSE!

    I am a bit surprised that the Dansk would sell, unless it has a really great pattern that you kept secret!Cranky and still yardsaling at all this weekend, and Jill gets to do my workshop tomorrow!! Poor baby! I croak really well right it too cold for frogs up there????

  3. Lovely to read your doings and your rhymings! We don't 'juice the cat' but we do have to 'dope the dog' morning and evening...

    Very much looking forward to your next book.

  4. Loved everything especially 'juicing the cat' :D

  5. The birds are really cool! I super duper like your book covers too. Nice graphic images!

  6. Hi, Found you and are following because of

  7. Great finds for $7.50. Looking forward to In Dogs We Trust!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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